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Children 2017, 4(5), 38; doi:10.3390/children4050038

First Nations Approaches to Childhood Obesity: Healthy Lifestyles in Canada Compared with Alternatives for Alaska Native Communities

1
Family Medicine, Tanana Chiefs Conference, Fairbanks, AK 99701, USA
2
Department of Pediatrics, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 94158, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Sari A. Acra
Received: 11 January 2017 / Revised: 4 May 2017 / Accepted: 4 May 2017 / Published: 11 May 2017
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Abstract

Alaska Native and American Indian children have among the highest prevalence of obesity in the United States. Canadian Aboriginal populations including First Nations also have high rates of obesity but obesity rates among children are noticeably lower. We highlight some of the important differences between American and Canadian approaches to healthy lifestyles and Aboriginal/Native health, including diet and physical activity, which may in part explain the differences in obesity prevalence. Specifically, the Canadian government provides a food subsidy program to bring perishable fruits and vegetable to remote, rural Canadian areas and secondly supports the use of traditional foods and harvesting/gathering through a number of government supported programs. Lastly, there may be a better sense of community and overall life satisfaction for Aboriginals compared with Alaska Natives, in part because of the incorporation of healthcare and other services within the larger overall community, as opposed to separate services as is the case for Alaska Natives. This perspective provides insight into some of these potential differences. View Full-Text
Keywords: First Nations; Alaska Native; Alaska; rural; childhood obesity First Nations; Alaska Native; Alaska; rural; childhood obesity
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

de Schweinitz, P.A.; Wojcicki, J.M. First Nations Approaches to Childhood Obesity: Healthy Lifestyles in Canada Compared with Alternatives for Alaska Native Communities. Children 2017, 4, 38.

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